Huntley historical rumors explained

Every once in awhile, the Sun Day must crack some cases. Following is the result of our most recent research:

First, Gerald Jamnik emailed us with this: “It puzzles me why the City of Huntley has chosen to change the name of Regency Parkway to Regency Square Parkway. Both signs on 47 read Regency Parkway, and have read so for many years.” Jamnik said another sign reads “Regency Square Parkway.” “Where was I?” he asks.

The Sun Day went to the scene and found that a road sign at Farm Hill Drive and Regency Parkway indeed says, “Regency Square Parkway.” Jammik identified himself as a Regency Parkway resident.

Actually, Regency Parkway extends eastward from route 47 about 250 feet to a feeder road that serves the Walmart parking lot and nearby outlot businesses. Regency Parkway also runs westward from Route 47, past the new Alden Huntley Horizons healthcare campus, a Huntley Fire District station, Heritage Woods assisted living, and a couple of large office buildings. It curves northward and dead ends near the Deerpath rehabilitation center.

Assistant Village Manager Lisa Armour gave us a bit of history.

“The name Regency Square was established by the village when the Walgreens strip mall was built more than a decade ago,” she said. “The name ‘Regency Square’ referred to an area, not a street. When the road sign was erected at that time, the phrase ‘Regency Square Parkway’ was displayed in error. We are taking steps to fix that now.”

James Williams of the village’s planning department (who said he got the same email) said a corrected sign has been ordered from a supplier and will soon replace the existing one.

Secondly, the retautant rumor.

Jon Kipp, a Sun City resident, emailed us to say he “heard” (he didn’t know from whom) a rumor that the Portillos restaurant organization had contacted the village recently, presumably to locate a restaurant here, and the village turned them down.

“To turn down the sales and taxes Portillos could bring would not have been in the best interest of Huntley,” he said.

Again, enter Armour. She said, “Portillos has never contacted us. How do these things get started? We have reached out to Portillos and other restaurant organizations as part of our overall economic development effort. Portillos has never responded.”

All of this prompted the Sun Day to go to Google and check out the latest about Portillos. Dick Portillo opened a tiny hot dog stand in Villa Park in the Chicago area in 1963. He called it the “Dog House.” After some early struggles, he built a chain of restaurants in four states that is valued today at $300 million. In 2014, he sold the business to Berkshire Partners. According to Wikipedia, Portillo remains active in the business.

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